2014-15 Goals Projection: No. 3 winger David Perron


David Perron blew expectations away after coming over from St. Louis last season, posting a legitimate breakout season at the age of 25. Is it a sign of things to come, or will he take a step back next season?

For those interested in a brief explanation of this series, see the first post in it (on Taylor Hall). Just a reminder about two things: I’m not projecting breakout seasons here (though they happen) and “comparables” are just the players inhabiting roughly the same roster position on the eight Western Conference playoff teams, and that empty-net goals are not included.

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Games & Usage


Perron has been relatively durable over his career, with the exception of a big concussion that cost him 96 games. Other than that, over the last six years he’s missed a grand total of five games to injury. Assuming disaster doesn’t strike again, chalking him up for 80 games played seems pretty reasonable.

Normally, we’d expect head coach Dallas Eakins to deploy Perron the same way he did last season, but this year the Oilers’ depth chart on the wings is significantly stronger and that should equate to less double-shifting for Perron. With that in mind, I’ve decided to average Perron’s ice-time last year with what he got in St. Louis in 2012-13 (per game, he played about a minute less at evens, 20 seconds less on the power play).

That gives us (again, all per game) 15.3 minutes at even strength, 0.6 minutes on the penalty kill and 2.6 minutes on the power play.

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Goal-Scoring Curve

Perron’s shot rates at even-strength and on the power play over this three-year NHL career (via ExtraSkater.com) are as follow:

Age % of Peak EV Shots/60 PP Shots/60
22 93.3% 7.0 9.6
23 96.7% 5.5 10.3
24 100.0% 5.4 10.2
25 100.0% 8.5 10.4
Projected 97.5% 6.6 10.1

Worth noting: Because this method is based on average production, a single breakout year (like the one Perron had last year) impacts the results but doesn’t supersede less productive years. There’s an argument that Perron’s offence was suppressed in St. Louis, but there’s a counter-argument that 2013-14 was a one-off for the winger.

Also worth noting: Perron was a shot-generating machine last year, but his shooting percentage fell from the mid-teens down to just over 10 percent. That could be a result of a new ‘shoot from anywhere’ mentality (if so, it was still a worthwhile trade off) or it could be a temporary drop-off.

At even-strength, we’ve projected Perron to play roughly 1,220 minutes next season. Using our estimated shots/hour rate, that works out to 135 shots. Perron’s shooting rate at evens over the last four years is an excellent 14.0 percent, which helps inflate his goal totals all the way up to 19 goals at even-strength.

On the power play, we’ve projected Perron to play just under 210 minutes next season. Using our estimated shots/hour rate, that works out to 35 shots. He has shot at a 16.7 percent clip on 90 power play shots over his career; that isn’t much of a sample but it’s only a slight bump from his career rate so I’m going to use it, giving him 6 goals on the power play. Perron gets some penalty kill time and scores a shorthanded goal every other year; he had one in 2013-14 so we’ll peg him for zero this year (besides which, Nugent-Hopkins is in a similar probability boat and we rounded up with him).

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Total: 25 goals. This represents a slight step back from 2013-14, but it’s actually better than I expected from this process. If the Oilers can get 25 non-empty net goals out of Perron they should be very happy.


Our average of 19 goals is dragged down by some special factors – injuries to Hertl and Peverley, as well as Anaheim’s rotate-a-winger usage (Winnik played more than 15 minutes per game but finished 14th on the team with just six goals). Carter shows up on the wing because he took less faceoffs than the Kings’ other three top-nine centres (Kopitar, Stoll, M. Richards).

The best clubs are all in the 25-goal range, where Perron slots in nicely.


    • Randaman

      If we can sign O’Reilly to a long term contract I agree that O’Reilly would be a good trade for Yak and Klef, but I don’t think Colorado would go for it.

      A top centre is hard to get

      • Randaman

        So add a conditional 2nd rounder if he signs a long term deal. This isn’t a wish, it’s a huge need to fill a huge void. We could leave it as is and be in the running for a lottery pick again

  • Randaman

    I like Perron a lot but I find that he would be even better if he started to use his center a little more instead of holding the puck as long as he does. It seems to work for him but…

    • If we got O’Reilly at that price long term it would be a great day to be an Oiler fan, centers like that aren’t cheap. He’s young, can play any role against any players, and he’s the exact kind of player we need. The cap is going up, we’re paying Benoit Pouliot 4 million for crying out loud.

    • Big whoop. Colorado was nickel-and-diming him; he was well within his rights to sign an offer sheet. Because of the OS, he has all the leverage right now.

      Sign him to a deal like the one Eberle got – O’Reilly’s bigger, younger, a better two-way guy and plays a more important position – and the contract worries are a thing of the past.

      He’s probably an elite No. 2 pivot for the next six years. He’d be a brilliant add for the Oilers.

      • Randaman

        I am getting severely trashed for suggesting Yak & Klef go the other way. Funny that nobody has any other viable trade options to offer. Do you think I was off base? I think you have to offer value to be taken seriously. No?

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        ^yup, i’d have no problem at all signing O’Reilly for that kind of money long term. a vast improvement over Sam Gagner, and think of the depth at center the Oilers would have on the team and in the system at that position with Nuge, O’Reilly, Draisaitl, Gordon, Roy, Yakimov and Chase! wow!

        • billythebullet

          A vast improvement tiny Sam .61 points per year compared to Ror at .55. Also sam is listed at 200 5 11 Ror is 6 200 Please I don’t love sam but Ror is not a six plus center he is over hyped with an attitude prob. Also to give up on Yak and Kleff is just poor management> Remember what Van got for Kesseler> Yes we need a center but will he win the cup for us?

          • Reg Dunlop

            If ROR is a ‘problem’ then what is Yak? Would ROR win the cup for us? Come on, man, you know it’s a team game and no single player in history ever won a cup on his effort alone (except maybe Bernie Parent). Sammy G is simply not a very good NHL centre while ROR is infinitely more well rounded. He would make a substantial positive impact next year. Will Yak? Possible but with Eakins coaching and the present mix of talent here it is very unlikely. I make the trade but in my opinion Colorado would not.

            Getting back to D Perron, I think he matches last year’s totals and continues to bring the prick factor that the oil otherwise lacks. Untouchable as a trade chip but not as untouchable as Hall and Nuge.

      • Randaman

        Really the same deal of a player who is a first liner scoring at .8 points per game. Also Boston and a few other teams found out that the cap is what it is not what it might be, if the Canadian dollar falls the cap falls or stays the same. The key word you used was probably sorry but even though its not my money I wouldn’t gamble on a guy that might be worth it of course if they do get him I will pray every night that he is the real deal.

    • Randaman

      Omit the “that’s all we need” part of your statement and just remember “WE NEED,WE NEED,WE NEED”
      Probably by mid December you will start to understand why ” WE NEED”.

      • Randaman

        Didn’t say we don’t need a 2nd line center, just not as sold on him. He may be an upgrade on Gags but that does not mean he is good enough remember the Avs only want to give up 5.25. Also is he better then Hall at six?

  • billythebullet

    Colorado would want a lot for o-rielly no doubt. But i’m not certain ebs is the guy I move. J-Shultz could haunt us for yrs as well, and no doubt yaks value isn’t great atm. A trade for this center is bold. But who do we give up? Where is Colorado the thinnest on the depth charts? I tend to think on the wing, as tanguay, and igilna, r ancient. Center if u take away o-rielly is aweful thin at 3c, as briere is also a dinosaur. So maybe yaks should be rated by Colorado, cause him and mackinnon could be scary together. heres my trade (lol) yaks, arco, and a conditional 1st rnd pick. next yr if he signs longer then 4 yrs, the following yr if 3 or less.

  • One first overall, Arco (when we have zero centre depth) and another first round pick in a super deep draft and likely a lottery pick for an unsigned O’Reilly?

    So what happens if he commands $8M plus from us or refuses to play here? That other first rounder is 2016 instead?

    Why the hell does everyone want to give up on Yak? If properly utilized, he could out score Hall in his career. He’s not a two way player.

    We will end up trading him cause Eakins doesn’t like his style, but it will definitely bite us in the ass in the long run. We WILL lose that trade.

    What we need to do is use our defensive depth to land that centre. It’s all we have to offer right now.

  • Randaman

    Hey JW, Do you think MacT should be contacting Sakic to see what the asking price is for O’Reilly? True #2C don’t come available all that often. Maybe this is a golden opportunity.
    Yes, we would have to give to get but…

  • pkam

    25 goals, likely 35+ assists, so 60+ pts, pretty good number for a 2LW. And it is even better with his 3.8M contract. Not sure why the Blues considered him a salary dump.

  • SmythsMullet

    Perron to me was the bright spot in an otherwise dismal season and something to be excited about. The intangibles he brings are worth noting as well.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Reading all of the print on ROR and how the Oil may or may not benefit with this player in the line-up, he is still a major piece of anyone’s team. Average fans would fall all over this guy, me included. If we can get this guy (outside chance at best I suspect), we should. The price would be?

    • Sal-Sational

      In order to get a quality player you have to give up some quality.. and with the division we’re in i think having a strong center will offcourse help..
      RNH – O’Reilly – Draisaitl – Gordon

  • Reg Dunlop

    ASSESEMENT : How valuable is our first round pick next year to others ? Currently most odds have us at 50-1 with a group that includes N.J., N.Y.I. ,Arizona , Ott. and Winnipeg . that would put us 20-25 with current roster . Below us is Cal. , Buff. , Florida @75-1 and Wash. and Carolina at 66-1 .

    With an additional top 2 center or defenseman those odds would change and probably take us above into top 19 . This seems to indicate how other teams might value our draft choice next season if a trade were imminent . Currently does not look likely we will be close for MacDavid or Eichel sweepstakes unless another major collapse takes place a second time .

    Therefore , using next years first draft choice may not be as bad as most might have expected and may go a long way to making us competitive ready this season . Any ideas as to whom (player and or players ) this slight risk might benefit us with ? Take for granted a new acquisition will not also create another major hole to fill .

  • Reg Dunlop

    I have a shortlist of Oilers who beat expectations.



    MacT. (I expected fewer trades. And more Dithering. )

    Martin Marcinin is quickly winning my heart. (I’m still playing hard to get. )

  • Reg Dunlop

    If we can sign him in advance, I’d give up the 2015 1st rounder plus for ROR. ROR stacks up nicely with Duchene and Stastny in terms of points over the past 3 seasons. Add to that his great 2 way play. He really is the perfect 2nd line centre in the mold of Kesler/Bergeron. He’d be a great fit for many years (sign him for 4 and see how Leo develops) and would satisfy our biggest need. I don’t see it happening, but this would be the biggest move of MacT’s tenure if accomplished.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    There probably isn’t another player in the NHL who looks more like a senior hockey player, in terms of weasel-sneaky dirty-ness, than David Perron. Gotta love him.

  • The Last Big Bear

    To temporarily derail the ROR discussion, I’d just like to say that I think all of these player projections have been essentially spot-on in my opinion.

    I think your assumptions have been reasonable, and your conclusions have been sound.

    Its inevitable that many of them will end up being spectacularly wrong, but I think these are as sober and level-headed as any player projections I’ve seen.

    As for ROR, he is a heck of a player, and is just what the doctor ordered for the Oilers. I agree that Eberle is a reasonable starting point for getting a deal done, but it would hinge on ROR signing a long-term contract. Colorado isn’t going to give up this kid for spare parts, and if the Oilers don’t send an impact player their way, then some other team definitely will.

  • Sal-Sational

    Perron and Pouliot playing alongside a tough centre – both of them chirping away and thoroughly demoralizing the opposition – I like the sound of that.